Monday, July 13, 2015

Over the River and Through the Woods

Hey guys!
Wow this week was just full of all sorts of exciting adventures. 
To start off, we had stake conference this weekend! That in itself was exciting because it was the one year anniversary since the first stake was organized in Jamaica. It was even more exciting because the church was packed. Like there weren't enough seats and all the elders serving in the stake had to stand in the back. We had seats filled all the way from the very front of the chapel, way back through the overflow, and up on the stage. It was amazing! For the rest hymn, we sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and I just looked around the room at all these amazing pioneers in the church standing and singing with me and I just about cried. I was so overwhelmed with how amazing these people are... I am so blessed to have known and loved so many of them in the time that I've been able to serve so far. 
Alright... one of my favorite things that was spoken about at stake conference was a simple question. "Are we the church, or are we just coming to church?" The speaker was talking about how it's crucial for us to not just be Sunday worshippers... but rather to apply and live gospel principles every day of our lives. He talked about how we should all be striving to develop a gospel culture and do our best to live as disciples of Jesus Christ would live. I've spent a lot of time thinking about that since then... and considering how I can more fully live as a disciple of Jesus Christ! 
In other news... Tuesday night we got a call from our Sister Training Leaders saying that they were going to come on splits with us the next day. Splits are like trade-offs only a little more stressful because you have to plan for two full days of lessons that happen in one day. Now, our area is a little challenging and sometimes it's hard for us to even fill one day of appointments when it's just us working in our area... let alone two companionships working in the area. So we spent a lot of time contacting and building our teaching pool on Wednesday haha. 
We decided to go to the far out area to look for a few people. That's where the adventure started. I was with Sister Rampersad, one of the Sister Training Leaders. We started by walking about an hour to a neighborhood where we tried to have a few lessons but they all fell through. So we said a prayer and felt like we should walk even further to a little community called Bogles to try to find some former investigators. So we walked another thirty minutes down a highway, took a little dirt trail about twenty minutes off the highway, crossed a canal, climbed around a fence, walked another thirty minutes down a road that smelled like cows, waded through grass that was as tall as our knees, climbed through a hole in a barbed wire fence, walked on the railroad tracks, crossed a bridge that goes over the highway, and balanced on the side of a canal to finally reach our appointment. And then she was just leaving so we didn't even get to see her. We spent a while doing some finding and then flagged down a coaster and rode back to town since we couldn't be bothered to walk anymore. 
We were walking through Spanish Town with the elders on Saturday. One of them stopped to buy a juice at a shop, and the guy in the shop gave him two and told him to give the extra one to the "white lady." I didn't really know what to do so I stood there awkwardly like "Uh... do I take it or is that bad?" And finally they all just told me to take it so I did and said thanks and then I had a free juice! Haha. Victory. 
One night, we stopped to talk to this guy. We had just finished setting up an appointment with him when we asked him if there was anything we could do to help him (like service.) He took like five steps back, and said "Alright. Am I on camera? You guys walk all day in the sun to teach people about Jesus and you do work for free too? What is this?" Hahahhahah. After a bit more explaining why we do what we do, he believed us... and our first lesson with him went really well! We'll see what happens there. 
We caught a caterpillar and put it in a bottle. We named him Likkle Mon (patwa for Little Man) and decided to keep him until he turned into a butterfly. Unfortunately I almost killed him on the way to Friday Night Activity because I stuffed his bottle in my bag so I could eat a patty while we were walking. When we got there, we were convinced he was dead. But we all worked together and brought Likkle Mon back to life! That night, he somehow escaped out of his bottle and left nasty slime trails all over our house that took like thirty minutes to mop up in the morning. Needless to say, Likkle Mon no longer lives in our house and we have learned our lesson about bringing caterpillars home with us. 
I think the best thing that happened to me this week was getting a letter from one of my recent converts. Part of it reads, "I am eternally grateful that you stopped by my house that night to teach me the gospel. I will do my best to get to the temple. Thank you for everything." You guys. When I read that, I just burst into tears. (Good tears haha.) Little things like that are what make a mission the best thing I've ever done. It doesn't matter how many sunburns, how many blisters, how many bug bites I get... because at the end of the day I get to be blessed by the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. And I never want that to end. 
Well that was longer than planned haha. I love you guys! Hope you have a great week!!!! 
Sister Oman

I've discovered a mystery!  The first picture is what my desk looks like every morning a the start of studies.And the second picture is what it looks like just two hours later.  How in the world does it gt that messy in two hours?  Good grief!!!  

This is my favorite part of our area.  Not too crowded.  Lots of nice views, and tons of friendly people who are willing to listen to our message!!

This is the fence we have to climb through or over to get to our appointments sometimes.  Let me tell ya.  Climbing through a barbed wire fence in a skirt is easier said than done.  The skirt really likes to get caught on the wire.  All the time.  Good grief!!

We also have to walk on railroad tracks to get to appointments out here!!!

I love goats!  We sometimes chase them and it makes walking a lot more exciting.  Ha ha!!

I found a bus that said Portmore so I had to take a picture with it.  

This is Paul.  He is the man Sister Tafuna and I baptized.  I missed his baptism by a few days because I got transferred right before, so stake conference was the first time I got to see him as a member.  It was so exciting!  Man I loved this weekend ha ha!!

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